In this blog we’ve compiled the top 10 topics new Teemill users want to know about. If you’re the kind of person who throws away the instructions, ignores the FAQ and want’s to get stuck in, this is for you – it’s everything you need to know in one quick bullet-pointed brief. If you want the full nitty gritty, you can find all the answers in the Full Teemill Q&A
1. How does it work
Everything you need to sell t-shirts online is inside a Teemill account. A website, which has a cart, security certificates, SSL, URL and all the tools to customise and edit the code without having to have any prior experience. This whole thing is connected to the Rapanui factory, a high tech print-on-demand facility that prints thousands of shirts a day for some of Europe’s biggest brands and ships them direct to customers. We’re a silent partner.
What happens next is simple: You get all that stuff free. You can build your shop, customise it completely and when one of your designs sells, it is printed and shipped to your customer the same day. You can even have your own branded packaging and custom flyers inside the bag. We send your share of the money. That cash is all net profit, there’s no setup or running costs.
Teemill is used by some of the biggest brands and charities in the UK and has more recently been opened to the wider public. It makes it hard to fail at selling t-shirts online: Design great products and get on with the marketing while the boring stuff is automated. Even the customer care is sorted: A dedicated team at Teemill handle all the returns and exchanges too, also for free.
2. How much does it cost
Everything you need for Teemill is Free. There are some custom plugins that developers have made for specialist purposes, but there’s literally no cost to set up, start and run a basic store.
We want Teemill to be accessable for anyone, from ambitious 15 year olds in their bedroom to charities and everything inbetween.
Our technology powers the print on demand side of our business, which makes our company very efficient. It’s this technology that makes it possible to give the Teemill system away for free, we then send you your share of the profit. Our hope is that your store is successful and together we can sell many t-shirts together – and in time, we’ll make our money back.
3. Can I get it on WordPress / Shopify / Other shop thingy
Teemill isn’t currently designed to plug into WordPress or Shopify or other website building packages. However, we do have plans to integrate with these services which will allow you to build a blog on Teemill, publish your own pages and do all the store customisation and more. Keep an eye on our newsletter for updates on new content and features!
If there’s something special you want, like a SoundCloud plugin to get your band’s music on there or a donation button for your charity, we’ve got that.
There’s a growing list of custom apps you can add to your Teemill store, some of which are free.
4. Can I sell other stuff on my Teemill store?
Teemill is designed to be integrated into our print-on-demand factory, meaning that you don’t have to do any fulfilment yourself, or invest heaps in stock and risk your cash on custom printing. We can store and ship items on your behalf from our warehouse, using our Fulfilled by Teemill plugin.
5. If I upload my t-shirt design, who’s copyright is it?
Not ours. We have no interest in stealing your art, we have plenty thanks. The design belongs to you – but it works both ways: Please bear in mind that in order to create a product on Teemill you’re accepting that you have the right to reproduce and sell that design. There will be no protection from us if you upload products that infringe someone else’s copyright and if you get yourself in a spot of bother with copyright, we may be forced by law to hand over your details to a claimant. Go careful, use your original artwork.
6. Can I trust you with my customer service?
We handle the same-day fulfilment, exchanges, returns and questions for some of Europe’s biggest brands and businesses – as well as our own parent company, Rapanui. Our professional customer care team has the skills, training and time to deliver rapid responses and resolutions to any kind of enquiry to a Teemill store.
We even hand write a thankyou note on every order that we ship – every single one – and yes, you can customise even that.
Customer service is our full-time profession – we take care of it.
7. How do the payments work?
We pay you your share of the profit at the end of each month. The payment is calculated automatically by the factory based on the balance of sales vs. returns. You never have to pay us anything, unless you choose to buy specific upgrades, applications or subscriptions like Teemill Pro.
There are no transaction or admin fees or hidden charges, even if you are overseas: We pay the money via Paypal API, which is the cheapest way to send money automatically, internationally – and we cover the transaction fee on our side: Every penny of profit you earn, you keep.
8. Can I have my own custom labelling and swing tags?
Teemill orders are printed on high-quality organic cotton blanks that have plain, unbranded neck/size labels. They’re designed by Rapanui for Teemill. Cutting these out and putting fancy labels in can be done by our bulk printing team, but that’s more for our commercial scale customers with deep pockets and existing warehouse infrastructure: They buy in bulk and if they really want to do that and are prepared to pay a premium, we do it. It would never be economically viable do this one at a time – and it’s not the future.
They make no difference to the success of your brand or project. The biggest indie brands on Teemill use plain labels and they understand that the customer cares about the design quality, not a neck label: They never see it. We don’t do swing tags because people just throw them in the bin immediately.
To be brutally direct, you do not need neck labels, sleeve labels, swing tags etc. This is the stuff of startups that want to appear larger than they truly are. It’s cool, we’ve all been there – But success will come from focusing on the bigger picture, like getting some sales going online.
Note: One thing the customer does notice is packaging, which can be configured to arrive plain and with your logo.
9. Can I run Teemill on my own domain or URL?
There’s two ways to run Teemill from your own domain, the options being influenced by the SSL. This security certificate has a role in encrypting data for the cart, an important part of e-commerce security and forms part of the legal requirements for companies wishing to take payments online, and helps detect fraud. This all comes free with a .teemill url but would require a serious financial commitment to do yourself.
The fastest and easiest way to have your own URL is to buy a domain from a domain broker, like 123-reg, and point the domain at your Teemill URL as a redirect.
This means you can advertise your site as www.yourdomain.com and any users hitting that link will be automatically redirected to your Teemill store automagically. This means you get the benefit of a catchy name, but don’t have to try and set up your own security.
The alternative is to invest in your own SSL and domain which has some pretty hefty setup and running costs. But if you really want to do it, you can contact us for a quote.
Lastly we do have a RESTful API that’s designed for professional level app developers, but if you don’t know your API from your Raspberry Pi, it will just look like code spaghetti.
10. Ok, but I can make more per shirt elsewhere
If you think that, ask yourself if you’re thinking in net profit terms. Let us first explain: You could get t-shirts for less if you found a place that does custom screen printing – they will have a minimum order of 50-100 per design, and you’ll be paying for those up front. You’ll need to get yourself an ecommerce website and buy an SSL certificate to let you take card payments online, storage, packaging, shipping rates, SEO, product photos, the list goes on: Any time you have a new t-shirt idea, or want to respond to a trend? You’ll have to come up with the money to do all that all over again. So far, we’ve not really talked about how you’re going to profit from all that… it’s mostly just a big list of expenses.
Starting a brand seems easy to begin with, until the making profit bit… For most it ends with a load of unsold t-shirts behind a sofa and a broken dream. It’s why we started Teemill – we know we have a better way.
Teemill lets you build a product in a couple of minutes and start selling it immediately. The key difference is that everything you earn is Net Profit. You are in the black on day one, and in profit from the first t-shirt you sell.
The bottom line: A successful brand after a few years of growth might earn 10% net profit and be considered epic. At Teemill, when you sell a white tee for £20 your profitability is more than double that. Teemill saves you years of work and you make more profit.